Repurposed Potting Bench

Repurpose an old china cabinet into a peppy potting bench with paint, tile, and a few clever DIY ideas. Then add your favorite gardening gadgets and get growing!


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China cabinet made into a garden center
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Garden Center

    To make your own garden storage center, first gather the below materials.

    What you'll need:
    Cabinet (project materials and instructions will vary depending on your piece)
    Wood putty and putty knife
    100-grit sandpaper
    1 quart exterior primer
    1 or 2 quarts exterior paint
    Wire cutters
    Chicken wire (enough to fit cabinet windows)
    Staple gun and staples
    1-inch wood trim
    Pin nails
    Cabinet knobs and pulls
    Screwdriver/drill and screws
    Hinges
    Exterior-grade plywood
    Wood glue
    Notched trowel
    Thinset adhesive
    Ceramic tile
    Grout mix
    Rubber float
    Sponge
    Grout sealer
    Various hooks and shelving for tool storage

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Create Your Own Gardening Station

    Remove doors, hardware, glass, and cabinet back (if possible). Separate top of cabinet from base. Fill any holes with wood putty, and sand all surfaces.

    Apply exterior primer to entire cabinet inside and out. When dry, paint the entire cabinet, then any doors and drawers that you have removed. If necessary for even coverage, apply a second coat.

    Once paint is dry, measure any windows you will be covering with chicken wire. Cut wire to fit, plus 1/4 inch extra on each side. Attach wire to the back of the window with staples, then cover with wood trim and secure with pin nails. Screw on new knobs and drawer pulls. Reattach doors using new hinges.

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Starting on the Tile Top

    Cut plywood to fit the cabinet top (what will become the potting bench work surface). Screw plywood to cabinet base. Adhere border to plywood using wood glue. Use a notched trowel to apply Thinset adhesive to the top of the plywood.

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Adhere the Tile

    Place tile on the adhesive and let dry for 24 hours.

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Grout

    Mix grout according to package instructions. Use a rubber float to spread the grout mix over the surface to grout tile joints.

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Let It Set

    Once the grout is firm, use a damp sponge to wipe off excess. Allow the grout to set for 24 hours. Apply grout sealer according to package directions.

    Secure the hutch to the cabinet base; reattach the back. Add hooks to hold hose and other garden tools, if desired. Place the finished workstation on a covered patio or other outdoor space where it will be protected from the elements. See following slides for garden tool storage and organization ideas.

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Protective Paint

    The exterior primer and paint will help protect the hardworking (and good-looking) potting bench.

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Hooked up

    Hooks screwed to supports inside the cabinet and on the door keep frequently used garden implements handy, while shelves hold pots, gloves, and other supplies.

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Wire Windows

    Ditch the old cabinet hardware in favor of fun decorative knobs to update and personalize the secondhand piece.

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Tiled Top

    The exterior-grade plywood top covered in tile makes the cabinet workworthy.

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Handy Hose

    Keep water close to your work space. We used two vintage coat hooks drilled into a support board inside the cabinet to create a handy hose holder.

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